(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Philosophy Estranges the Familiar

…[P]hilosophy teaches us, and unsettles us, by confronting us with what we already know. … It works by taking what we know from familiar unquestioned settings, and making it strange. …Philosophy estranges us from the familiar, not by supplying new information, but by inviting and provoking a new way of seeing.

Michael J. Sandel

I appreciate this explanation of philosophy. Hopefully philosophy does also provide new information in the form of different points of view/frames of reference, but the fact that philosophy is–in my experience–an inquiry, then yes: philosophy asks questions of the things we take for granted (i.e., as in Sandel’s definition of moral reflection). In that sense, there is nothing new, simply new ways of looking at things via questions.

Compare Bordieu, doxa/orthodoxy/heterodoxy. The above explanation describes the challenging of the doxa, the move toward discourse. Philosophy tends to shatter doxa.


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This entry was posted on August 2, 2015 by and tagged , .
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